About Us

  • What is Co-op?
  • Co-op Programs at a Glance
  • What you need to Graduate

What is Co-op?

Cooperative Education is the foundation for all experiential learning programs that are offered at the Waterloo Catholic District School Board.  It is a program that offers senior students the opportunity to extend classroom learning at supervised work placements within the community while earning credits.  Students gain further knowledge of a subject area through practical experience.  Co-op can be related to any course that the student has taken or is taking while enrolled in the Co-op program, regardless of whether the student is bound for college, university, apprenticeship or the workplace.
The program consists of 2 components:

  • Classroom Component: includes pre-placement and reflective sessions with topics such as job search, health & safety, labour market trends, confidentiality, work ethics, unions, etc.
  • Placement Component: the student works in a community placement to practice theory learned in the classroom in addition to learning new skills from an employer. A Personalized Placement Learning Plan (PPLP) outlines how the placement enhances the knowledge and skills learned in the classroom.

Co-op Allows A Student To:

  • Explore a career path   
  • Earn credits through a practical experience in  the community
  • Increase their understanding of employer expectations and workplace ethics
  • Develop workplace Essential Skills and work habits
  • Increase confidence, communication and leadership skills
  • Improve interpersonal and networking skills

           Student Requirements for all Co-op Programs

  • Complete a Co-op Application Form and a signed “Parent Consent Form”
  • Undergo a structured interview with a Co-op teacher to review career paths and to discuss placement options
  • Display a positive attitude, willingness to learn and a level of maturity
  • Adhere to the policies, procedures and health & safety regulations of the workplace and the school
  • Have the necessary educational background, and display punctuality and regular attendance
  • Meet the minimum age requirement of 16 years of age


  • Hours accumulated during the Co-op placement do not count toward the 40 hour Community Involvement requirement for the graduation diploma
  • Travel arrangements and costs to and from the worksite are the responsibility of the student and parent/guardian

Co-op Programs at a Glance

Regular Co-op for Grade 11 and 12 students:

A unique way of learning which combines a classroom component with a workplace experience. Students earn two credits while learning in a work environment – three hours each day in a morning or afternoon placement. In some cases, student may take a full day co-op for four credits.

Community Build Program:

As part of a construction crew, this program allows students to earn a Construction Technology credit(s) plus Co-op credits. The program lasts one semester and students will be bused to the construction site each day. Students may have to transfer to a host school in order to access this program.

College Cooperative Education Program (CCEP):

A Transition to College program for year 4 or 5 students offered at the Doon Campus of Conestoga College. Students may earn three secondary school credits (two co-op credits and one dual credit) plus 1 tuition free college course. Possible first year college courses: Basic Design, Business Computing Applications, Canadian Criminal Justice System, Early Childhood Education, Personal Support Worker, Psychology, Recreation & Leisure, Sociology. These courses are applicable to programs in Business and Hospitality, Community Services, Health and Life Sciences, Liberal Studies, Media and Design.

Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP):

OYAP allows Grade 11 or 12 students the opportunity to complete a Co-op placement in one of the four skilled trade sectors (i.e., Construction, Industrial, Service, Transportation). Students may be registered as an apprentice and begin accumulating hours and developing the workplace competencies required for each individual trade.

College Apprenticeship Preparation Program (CAPP):

For secondary students who are seriously planning a career in the Skilled Trades. During semester two of their Grade 12 year, students will earn two Co-op credits plus two Dual Cedits by completing the Apprenticeship Preparation Program at Conestoga College. Trades available include:

  • Automotive Service Technician
  • Culinary
  • General Machining
  • Truck & Coach Technician
  • Welding

University Cooperative Education Program (UCEP):

An opportunity for academically self-motivated students in their 4th or 5th year to spend semester one as a University student. Students will complete a Co-op placement in project or research work at one of the local universities. They also take one or two Grade 12 academic course(s) at the University (e.g., ENG4U, MCV4U, EWC4U, HRE4M), plus take a .5 or 1.0 university credit.

Summer Co-op:

Allows students the opportunity to experience Cooperative Education and earn two credits for five weeks of full day work during the summer. This is a good program option when Co-op does not fit into the student’s regular school timetable, and for students in the Specialist High Skills Major program.

Work Experience/Community Learning:

A non-credit community based learning experience offered through Special Education that provides students aged 16 to 21, in special education programs the opportunity to explore furture work placements, volunteer work placements or community involvement. This program is for students who have a wide range of abilities with special learning needs which may include physical and/or developmental disabilities.


What you need to Graduate

           What You Need to Graduate?